Georgia Man Who Filmed Ahmaud Arbery's Killing Charged With Murder

Georgia Man Who Filmed Ahmaud Arbery\
Georgia Man Who Filmed Ahmaud Arbery\'s Killing Charged With Murder  

The Georgia man who recorded the shocking video of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery being shot to death has been charged with murder, authorities announced Thursday.

William Bryan Jr. was arrested and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment on Thursday in connection with Arbery's February slaying while he was jogging on a residential street in Brunswick, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. He is currently being held in Glynn County Jail.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation alleges that on Feb. 23, Gregory McMichael and his son Travis confronted Arbery while he was on a run about two miles from his home. During the confrontation, Travis McMichael shot the 25-year-old, according to authorities.

Bryan captured part of the incident on video, which shows the father and son armed with a shotgun and a .357 Magnum as they chase Arbery, who was unarmed, in a white truck. At the end of the video, a shot is fired while Arbery tries to run around the truck. Then, Arbery and another man appear to get into a struggle as two more shots are fired.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, lawyers for Arbery's parents said the family is "relieved" to learn of Bryan's arrest.

"We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process. His involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, to many around the country and after their thorough investigation, it was clear to the GBI as well," S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump, and L. Chris Stewart said in a joint statement. "The family of Mr. Arbery is thankful for the diligence of the GBI and the way in which they tirelessly pursued the evidence in this case. We want anyone who participated in the murder of Mr. Arbery to be held accountable."

Ahmaud Arbery's Killers Confronted Him Two Weeks Before His Death, Neighbor Claims

Gregory and Travis McMichael currently face murder and aggravated assault charges for allegedly chasing down and killing Arbery.

The slaying-which many have described as a "lynching"-and the subsequent investigation spurred a national outcry and a Department of Justice investigation days after the graphic footage of Arbery's shooting in the Satilla Shores neighborhood emerged. The McMichaels' arrest also prompted calls for Bryan to face criminal punishment.

"The arrest of Bryan today, almost three months after Arbery was murdered, underscores the need for federal action," Becky Monroe, director of the Fighting Hate and Bias program at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, told The Daily Beast. "The U.S. Department of Justice must open an investigation into systemic police and prosecutorial misconduct for a pattern or practice of civil rights violations. We also reiterate our call for a federal hate crimes investigation into the murder of Arbery."

During the chase, the McMichaels said they tried to cut off Arbery, who avoided them and turned around to run in the opposite direction. At one point, according to the initial police report, the McMichaels said Bryan "attempted to block him, which was unsuccessful."

Ahmaud Arbery's Killers Confronted Him Two Weeks Before His Death, Neighbor Claims

"His family deserves justice from not only the two men who have been arrested, but from anyone who participated in that act," S. Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys for Arbery's family, told CNN's Don Lemon.

Bryan's 36-second video, taken inside a vehicle, was released by Alan Tucker, a local criminal defense lawyer who had informally consulted with the McMichaels and wanted to dispel rumors about the incident that was fueling tensions in the Georgia suburb.

"It wasn't two men with a Confederate flag in the back of a truck going down the road and shooting a jogger in the back," Tucker told The New York Times. "It got the truth out there as to what you could see. My purpose was not to exonerate them or convict them."

Ahmaud Arbery's Killers Confronted Him Two Weeks Before His Death, Neighbor Claims

But the video incited national outage, leading to the charges against three people more than two months after Arbery was shot. Prior to the graphic footage, the young man's case was bounced to three local prosecutors-two of whom are currently under investigation-before it was ultimately referred to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Local officials had argued Arbery's death was "justifiable homicide."

All three cases are now being handled by District Attorney Joyette Holmes of the Cobb County District Attorney's Office.

On Tuesday, Bryan's lawyer asserted his client had taken a lie detector test, which he said proved his client was unarmed during the shooting and did not have any conversations with the McMichaels prior to the tragic incident.

"Mr. Bryan is not your enemy," Kevin Gough, his attorney, said in a Tuesday press conference. "Please stop doing and saying things that place Roddie and his family in danger. Whether you believe it or not, you've put a target on his back."

The McMichaels have asserted they were chasing Arbery along the tree-lined road because they wanted to make a citizen's arrest of a man they suspected of being a burglar. Authorities, however, have said there were no break-ins reported in the seven weeks prior to Arbery's death.

Despite the national outcry over his slaying, two defense attorneys retained by Gregory McMichael claimed in a statement to The Daily Beast that a "rush to judgment" has caused the public to vilify their client.

"This is not some sort of hate crime fueled by racism," defense attorney Frank Hogue said at a press conference last week. "It is and remains the case, however, that a young African-American male has lost his life to violence."

Hogue added that the defense team has amassed additional witnesses, documents, and more video footage-which he believes "tells a very different story, both about Greg, about his son, Travis, and about Ahmaud Arbery."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!

Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


More Related News

Trump Allies Try To Slash COVID Benefits for the Undocumented
Trump Allies Try To Slash COVID Benefits for the Undocumented

President Donald Trump may have shown diminishing concern for the threat posed to the American public by the novel coronavirus in recent weeks, but his administration and allies are increasingly pointing to the pandemic as a justification for further longstanding policy goals on immigration.For months, the Trump administration has utilized the pandemic as a pretext for raising the barriers for entry into the country, effectively halting most immigration into the United States for the duration of the crisis, refusing to issue COVID-19 guidances for those still stuck in the immigration legal system, and using a quarantine law from the late 19th century as a mechanism to deport nearly all...

The Bizarre Demise of a Neo-Nazi Who Used a COVID Protest to Target Jews
The Bizarre Demise of a Neo-Nazi Who Used a COVID Protest to Target Jews

A neo-Nazi who showed up to an April coronavirus protest in Ohio with a sign calling Jews "the real plague" was quietly arrested three weeks later and has been in jail ever since. Matthew Slatzer, 36, of Canton, Ohio, was arrested on May 8 by an FBI task force for allegedly skipping three court-appointed drug tests while awaiting trial on a state felony charge involving a gun, according to records reviewed by The Daily Beast in partnership with The Informant, a publication covering hate and extremism. Slatzer also had ties to another neo-Nazi who died in a gun battle with the FBI just as COVID-19 lockdowns set in, though his arrest does not appear to be connected to that case.The arrest...

Trump's 'ANTIFA' Threat Is Total Bullshit-And Totally Dangerous

It's not a real organization, "ANTIFA." And even if it were, there is no such thing as a domestic federal terror designation.But President Donald Trump's tweet that the U.S. "will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization" is a very real threat.Trump's Sunday offering came as federal and local authorities across the country scrambled to contain increasingly violent protests in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Trump, who over several years has launched numerous tirades against anti-fascists, blamed the movement-really, a set of organizing tactics-for vandalism at the protests. Although he has previously threatened legal action against...

Florida's Seen a 'Statistically Significant' Uptick in Pneumonia Deaths. The CDC Says It's Likely COVID.

Since the beginning of this year, Florida has experienced an uptick in the number of pneumonia and influenza deaths, according to data from the Centers for Disease and Control. Experts and Trump administration officials responsible for keeping tabs on mortality rates across the country believe that many of those individuals had likely contracted and died from COVID-19.According to the data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, since the beginning of the year there has been a total of 1,519 deaths in Florida where pneumonia and influenza were listed as the underlying cause. By comparison, in the same time period last year, Florida recorded 1,207 such deaths. The CDC has...

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Also Voted by Mail
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Also Voted by Mail

As she's undertaken a large-scale, multimillion-dollar effort to push back on Democratic attempts to expand vote-by-mail access before the election, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has been clear about one thing: She's not conceptually opposed to absentee voting. In press calls, McDaniel has said she's comfortable with states sending out applications for ballots that voters can send in by mail because they have a proper reason for not being able to show up in person. What she's opposed to is states sending out the ballots themselves, especially without safeguards in place to determine who is getting them. That's been true of the lawsuits that the RNC has...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America